Dark horse bows out of presidential race in favour of Moussa

Zeinab El Gundy, Wednesday 16 May 2012

Little-known presidential hopeful Mohamed Fawzy Issa withdraws from contest in favour of Mubarak-era FM Amr Moussa, leaving 12 candidates left on field

Mohamed Fawzi Eissa
Egyptian presidential candidate Mohamed Fawzi Eissa (Photo: Reuters)

Presidential candidate Mohamed Fawzy Issa has formally withdrawn from Egyptian presidential elections slated for 23 and 24 May. At a Wednesday press conference, campaigners for presidential hopeful Amr Moussa announced Issa's withdrawal in favour of their candidate.

Little known to the public, Issa, a lawyer and former police officer, had planned to contest the elections with the endorsement of the recently established Generation Party.

Notably, the official period for tendering withdrawals from the presidential contest ended on 8 May, according to rules laid down by Egypt's Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission.

Issa's departure leaves 12 presidential candidates left to contest the election.

Last week, presidential contender Abdullah El-Ashaal caused a degree of confusion when he appeared at a public rally held for his rival, Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi. At the rally, El-Ashaal had surprised observers by declaring his support for Morsi and the latter's electoral platform. 

While many observers had thought El-Ashaal had withdrawn from the race, the next day he reiterated his intention to vie for the nation's top post.

Egypt's first post-Mubarak presidential poll will be held on 23 and 24 May, with a runoff round on 16 and 17 June if no single candidate wins an outright majority. Egypt's next president will be formally named on 21 June.

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